Investigators determined that injections of the natural hormone oxyntomodulin resulted in significant weight loss in a 4-week study. The body releases this hormone after meals to make people feel less hungry. Researchers randomly injected oxyntomodulin or placebo before meals to 26 obese and overweight patients 3 times a day, 30 minutes prior to mealtime for 4 weeks. Participants maintained their normal diet and physical activity during that time. In the oxyntomodulin group, body weight decreased by 5 lb versus 1 lb in the placebo group. The group receiving the hormone injections showed changes in the levels of fat-related hormones leptin and adiponectin, which indicated a decrease in fat. The oxyntomodulin group ate less, but their perception of their meals did not change. Researchers concluded that this natural hormone "may provide a more specific treatment for obesity" than other treatments.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.